Anti-Muslim film producer arrested
Updated: 2012-09-28 09:04
LOS ANGELES - The man behind a controversial anti-Muslim film which sparked a wave of violent protest and days of rioting in some Arab countries was taken into federal custody on suspicion of violating terms of his probation, local media outlets reported on Thursday.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, the producer behind "Innocence of Muslims" which depicts the Prophet Mohammad, likely violated his probation terms which stemmed from a 2010 bank fraud case, officials said. Under the terms, he was not supposed to use the internet without permission from his probation officer.
"Defendant shall not access a computer for any other purpose," according to the terms of his probation. Any approved computers were to be used for work only, The Los Angeles Times reported on its website.
Nakoula, also known as Sam Bacile, is expected to make his initial appearance in a downtown federal court in Los Angeles Thursday afternoon.
Details of Nakoula's arrest were sketchy as federal court documents on the case were filed under seal.
Nakoula, who was based in Cerritos, California, was convicted on bank fraud, identity theft and two other counts in June 2010. He was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison.
Nakoula was also ordered to pay $794,700.57 in restitution. He was released in June 2011.
As part of his five years of probation, Nakoula was ordered not to own or use devices with access to the Internet without the approval from his probation officer. He was also ordered not to enlisting others to access the Internet for him.
The film, which is made mostly in Nakoula's house with a budget of $250,000, and its 14-minute trailer posted on Youtube has set off violent and outrageous protests in Cairo, Egypt, Benghazi, Libya and Sanaa, Yemen. The violent protest in Libyan US consulate took the lives of US ambassador to the country Chris Stevens along with three other US diplomatic staffs.